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Inside the GOP’s repeal and replace tactics

Steve Kerby

After Obamacare started bestowing life saving insurance coverage on millions of Americans, the Republican Party swore to repeal and replace it, claiming that it would cost too much, interfere with the free market and save the lives of too many Americans who wouldn’t vote Republican. Though the GOP remained in control of both houses of Congress for much of Obama’s term, their dream of repeal and replace never came to fruition. Now that GOP majorities have taken control of the House, Senate and the Presidency, the GOP at last has a chance to enact their long-awaited revenge.  To repeal and replace, however, is much grander in scale than its creators could have imagined; with a huge president comes huge ideas.

To understand the current plan of repeal and replace, the origins of the moniker itself need to be unfolded.  After the originally derisive term “Obamacare” (invented in 2010 by conservatives in search of a catchy way to make fun of Obama’s famous mantra) was stolen by proponents of the law in 2011,  public relations efforts including “Obama-scare” and “O-blah-macare” failed miserably. A new tack was needed, especially as millions of poor white uneducated voters (key to what a 2013 GOP leak termed “Orange Blitzkrieg”) gained coverage. Obviously the GOP could not rob these voters of their coverage without dangling some carrots to distract them, so “repeal and replace” was born. Efforts to find a third R-word such as “revenge” or “regret” limited the catchy slogan to two words. Senator Mitch McConnell commented that “Kids these days love alliteration, yo,” in response to questions on the effectiveness of the mantra.

Now that the plan to repeal and replace is finally a possibility, GOP leadership is looking to extend that strategy to other hot issues. Besides the original repeal and replace plan meant for Obamacare, a leaked document lays out plans for disassembling other Obama-era developments, including “2 Repeal 2 Replace: Gay Rights,” “The Repeal and the Replace: Paris Agreement” and “Repeal 4: Osama’s Return.” The most stunning plan, though, was pieced together from clues in several documents and hinted at a project of truly staggering scale. After chasing a trail of breadcrumbs and $100 bills down into the bowels of the Capitol Building, the master plan of the modern GOP was revealed.

It appears that the new administration’s efforts to promote alternate facts were not simply helpless improv comedy, but instead part of a concerted plan to repeal and replace history.  Recently introduced legislation would recall the entirety of history textbooks and re-write them to paint the modern GOP in better light. Planned storyline include moving the end of the Civil War to 2008, having Abraham Lincoln appoint Donald Trump as his successor with his dying breaths. This “plausible” story, writes the document, is intended to introduce another period of Reconstruction, harkening back to the days when the Republican Party held almost complete control of Congress for decades and black and brown people couldn’t vote.  The 19th amendment on suffrage is also in the crosshairs, to be replaced with a new amendment requiring four-day workweeks for women with one day reserved for housework.

Democrats’ measures to protect Obamacare, history and other targets of “repeal and replace” measures were tied up in committee.  Currently, the majority of historians around the country have signed on to a “March to Save History,” planned for early May. Expected attendance may reach thousands, even hundreds of concerned academics. Until then, constant vigilance is needed to find any more leaks and pre-emptively stop dangerous overreach by the new GOP administration.

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